Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Care Public Perception Index: March 2011 Findings

Americans’ confidence in their ability to afford future care and maintain health coverage fell slightly in March 2011. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Care Public Perception Index (RWJF Index) decreased from 100.2 points in February to 99.6 points in March. The RWJF Index is a monthly survey that evaluates consumer confidence in American health care. It is tabulated by the University of Minnesota's State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) using data collected as part of the Surveys of Consumers, conducted by the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan.

The RWJF Index ranges from 0 to 200—with baseline set at 100 in spring of 2009—and is composed of two sub-indices. The first, the Recent Health Cost Barriers Index, gauges consumers’ recent experiences accessing health care because of cost concerns. This index decreased from 102.4 in February to 100.6 in March. The second, the Future Health Cost Concerns Index, measures consumers’ confidence about accessing health care or health insurance in the future because of cost. This index increased from 98.1 in February to 98.6 in March.

This month marks the final release of the RWJF Index. Confidence peaked at 104.4 in October 2009. It reached its lowest point of 95.8 in May 2010.